Greenpeace “Wasteminster” by Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy

Directors Sil van der Woerd, Jorik Dozy, and their environmentally focused prodco Studio Birthplace team with VFX house Method & Madness to portray the shocking mountain of plastic waste the UK exports every day.

Greenpeace UK political campaigner, Sam Chetan-Welsh: “The plastic we carefully wash and sort for recycling is being shipped off to other countries where it overwhelms their waste systems and much of it ends up illegally dumped or burnt, poisoning local people and polluting oceans and rivers.

Directors Sil van der Woerd & Jorik Dozy: “We didn’t want to put words into Boris’s mouth so we went through hours of interviews and speeches where plastic pollution and the environment were discussed and quotes were extracted. All statements in the film were made by Boris and the government.”

“We believe comedy can be a powerful tool to help tell some of the saddest stories in our world. That’s why we created mannequin versions of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove that represent them, but that also introduce some distance to these real politicians.

“Our intention was not to ridicule politicians but to place their dummy-personas in a direct conflict with the invisible consequences of their own actions.

“To visualize how much trash the UK exports daily, we started with the latest real-world data. In 2020, the UK exported an average of 1.8 million kilograms of plastic waste every single day.

“We researched the most common items that make up plastic waste, which resulted in 150 different pieces of plastic trash, mostly household items. This ranged from plastic shopping bags to pieces of styrofoam, Coca-Cola bottles, detergent bottles, snack food bags, to take-away food containers, coffee cups, etc.

“We 3D modeled and textured each item. For every plastic bottle, bag, and milk or yogurt container, various crushed or damaged versions were made as well to add to the realism and visual variety.

“Next, we researched the average empty weight of each of the 150 items. Reflecting on findings from the Everyday Plastic project by Daniel Webb and Dr. Julie Schneider, we fine-tuned the balance between all plastic items.

“We concluded that it takes an average of 37 plastic items to make up 1 kilo of plastic waste. That’s a total of 67.7 million items to make up the UK’s daily export of plastic waste.

“To define the actual size of the daily pile of plastic waste, we first combined 1,000 plastic items into a single, large ball. Method & Madness then dropped 67.7 thousand of those balls onto our digital Downing Street set, giving us a realistic representation of the actual daily volume.

“Note that the pile that we created uses uncompressed plastic waste, similar to how you would throw it away for recycling. When plastic waste is exported, it is compressed, reducing the size, but not the number of items or their weight.

“To create the avalanche of plastic engulfing Boris and Downing Street, special software called Tyflow was used. This application is able to calculate millions of items interacting with each other in a physically accurate manner.

“Hundreds of gigabytes of data were exchanged between artists working on the project in different locations across the world due to the pandemic. In total, the two-minute film required roughly 14,600 hours of render time, or 20 months, to create the final shots. The CO2 emitted by our render farm was compensated for.”

Sign the petition here.
Greenpeace "Wasteminster" by Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy | STASH MAGAZINE

Greenpeace "Wasteminster" by Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy | STASH MAGAZINE

Greenpeace "Wasteminster" by Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy | STASH MAGAZINE

Greenpeace "Wasteminster" by Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy | STASH MAGAZINE

Greenpeace "Wasteminster" by Sil van der Woerd and Jorik Dozy | STASH MAGAZINE

Client: Greenpeace UK

Production: Studio Birthplace
Writer/director: Sil van der Woerd, Jorik Dozy
Producer: Sean Lin

Co-Production: Park Village
MD/Executive Producer: Tom Webb
Executive Producer: Adam Booth

VFX: Method & Madness
CG Executive Producer: Tan Wen Hao
CG Producer: Christian Fontaine
CG Director: Alex Scollay
CG Previs: Kevin Chua
CG Artist: Abdul Rahman, Pilipino Reyes, Fabio Wasques, JiaJun Haw
Compositor: Simon ‘Duck’ Rafin

Music: Onn San
Sound Design: Wavefarer Audio

Recording Studio: GCRS London
V.O. Sound Engineer: Gary Turnbull
V.O. Boris Johnson: Matt Forde
V.O. Michael Gove: Jon Culshaw